Marketing 3 min read

Google is Testing Ways to Highlight Image Licensing Information

Pe3k / Shutterstock.com

Pe3k / Shutterstock.com

To highlight copyright and ownership, Google is testing a new approach that will let people see the licensing information of photos they search online.

Google is beta testing a new way for websites to display licensing information about the content on the image search result.

For a while now, Google has been working to curb accidental image theft on its platform.

For example, the search engine company announced the removal of the View Image icon back in 2018. Similarly, Google tweaked the looks of the image result page to make image copyright and ownership more visible to search engine users.

Now, the tech giant is introducing a new structured data element for image licensing metadata. That means content on the image search result will now feature a licensable image label.

In its announcement, Google wrote:

“When you specify license information for the images on your website, the image can display with a Licensable badge on image thumbnails in Google Images.”

The badge tells search engine users that license information is available for the image. Also, a link to the license in the image viewer could provide details on how to use a specific image.

Google Is Testing Ways to Highlight Image Licensing Information
Image. credit: support.google.com

With that said, the feature isn’t available in Google Images yet. However, website owners can start preparing ahead.

You can provide your metadata ahead to ensure your images are eligible to display licensing information. Here’s how to do that.

How to Add Metadata To Your Image

Google suggested two ways of adding metadata to your image, and any of them will be sufficient. These are:

  • Structured Data: Structured data refers to a link between the image and the page where it appears with the markup. It means you have to include structured data every time you use an image.
  • IPTC Photo Metadata: Unlike structured data, IPTC photo metadata is embedded in the photo itself. So, the image can move from one page to another, and the metadata will remain intact.

Licensing Information Badge Have No Impact on Search Rankings

Google’s trend analyst, John Mueller, was quick to point out that the changes have no impact on search rankings.

Likewise, Google’s Danny Sullivan says that the change has nothing to do with link building in any form. “It’s about letting site owners highlight licensing information,” he said.

Now, sites managing licensable images can quickly communicate licensing information to potential customers. Not only will this reduce accidental image theft, but it could also increase revenue too.

Read More: Google Explains How to Deal With Manual Actions

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